21 October 2010
Accidents at Work: Losses That You Are Entitled to Claim
I mentioned in a blog recently, a claim I had for a client who sustained a significant injury to his left shoulder.The injury resulted in the client’s left arm being effectively useless. In fact he was only able to hold it across his stomach to avoid moving the arm to any great extent. To do so caused increased pain to the left shoulder. The main point about the claim related to my client’s losses.My client was extremely proficient in DIY before the accident. He had been engaged in manual work of various different kinds since leaving school having thereafter completed an apprenticeship. He could turn his hand to almost anything, carpentry work, electrical, plumbing, tiling, etc. There was only heavy work or very specialist types of building work such as plastering and fitting a roof that my client would require assistance for.My client had a fair sized back garden to his home and his intention was always to build a small house in the grounds of his garden which would have its own road access. He was hoping that one of his grandchildren could live in this.The question which always has to been asked in any personal injury claim is to what extent the accident has had an effect upon the injured person’s life. It goes without saying that there is likely to be some detrimental effect, perhaps some time off work, loss of earnings claim or loss of overtime.However, what is often not thought of is the additional expenses that have been incurred or indeed are likely to be incurred. The purposes of damages or compensation is to place the injured party in the position they would otherwise have been in had the accident not occurred. Compensation for the actual injury sustained is of course the only way that the injured party can be compensated for the pain and discomfort that they suffer after an accident. If however the discomfort and restrictions they face as a result means that they are not able to work, cannot look after themselves, are unable to carry out any decorating or indeed are restricted in other means such as DIY, car maintenance or looking after an elderly relation, such losses are all compensatable and should be accurately assessed.In my client’s case, he had planned to build a house. He had obtained planning permission and had already put to one side sufficient funds to pay for the building material. We could show therefore and by way of witness statements that this was not a fanciful idea but had real substance and was an idea which had been considered prior to the accident.We were therefore entitled to claim and did in fact recover the additional cost which my client is likely to be put to in the future in having to employ local labourers to carry out the building work which he would have done himself had it not been for the accident.Tristan Hallam is a partner in Personal Injury in the London office of Russell Jones & Walker. If you or a member of your family has suffered an accident or injury call our expert personal injury solicitors on 0800 916 9046, fill in our short online claim form or email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our specialist personal injury team will review your compensation claim for free.
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